CANFIELD, Ohio – As the pandemic continued to wreak havoc on the legal system in 2021, the law firm of Betras, Kopp and Markota adapted to the challenges while devising a strategy for growth.
“The wheels of justice ground to a halt as courts locked their doors,” says David J. Betras, founding partner. “Criminal defendants were stuck behind bars. The already clogged civil docket grew more congested, which made it impossible to settle cases. And meeting clients, particularly those locked up in COVID-ravaged detention centers, became a life-threatening activity.”
The firm’s primary goal remained securing justice for its clients. The staff and attorneys did just that in a way that included teleconferencing and other safety measures.
With COVID protocols in place, the partners turned their attention to implementing the growth strategies they had developed. The first move was to make Justin Markota an equity partner in the firm. That took place in November.
“Since joining us in 2015, Justin had become an essential member of our team,” Betras says. “His partnership is hard-earned, well deserved and signals our ongoing commitment to the Mahoning Valley.”
Also last year, the firm expanded into South Carolina. Attorney Casey Van Valkenburgh manages BKM’s new Charleston, S.C., office.
BKM also added a new lawyer to its Tampa, Fla., office in 2021. Arturo Uzdavinis, who grew up in Tampa and played football in the NFL, joined the firm at the start of the year.
Looking ahead, BKM will concentrate on promoting its complex business litigation practice group. Staffed by Kopp, Markota and attorneys Chris Knopik and Doug Titus, the group offers unique contingency fee arrangements to businesspeople and corporate entities.
Also last year, partner Brian Kopp became the fourth member of the firm to earn the SuperLawyer distinction, joining Betras, Knopik and Titus.